Logo Trop1 (1)

Modeling Earth’s Carbon


A Model/Simulation to learn about the carbon cycle and carbon dioxide projections based on the observed CO2 concentrations from Land, Ocean and Atmospheric reservoirs. The model includes four RCP scenarios based of fossil fuel emissions: activities on the following topics

  1. Business as usual
  2. Slower Growth
  3. Big Reductions
  4. Very Aggressive

Students can simulate future carbon dioxide concentration, surface temperature, ocean surface pH and carbon fluxes through the use of this model. They will learn to calculate the projections based on various future scenarios for reservoirs of anthropogenic carbon.

Mathematics/Statistics teachers can use this resource to teach their students about models and the use of climate data to create models. reservoirs of anthropogenic carbon.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is a carbon cycle? How does atmospheric CO2 impact land and ocean carbon concentration?
  2. Define the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario in the model.
  3. Based on the past projections, what will be the average surface temperature in each RCP scenario?
About Tool
Tool Name Earth[carbon]
Discipline Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics
Topic(s) in Discipline Mathematical Modelling, Computer Programming, Earth’s Climate, Carbon Cycle, The Geologic Carbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles, Biosphere, Lithosphere, The Silicate Thermostat, Atmospheric CO2, Surface Ocean pH, RCP Scenarios, Anthropogenic Carbon, CO2 emissions, Data Analysis, Statiscal Methods, Modelling, Data Projections
Climate Topic Climate Variability Record, Climate and the Biosphere, Climate and the Lithosphere
Type of tool Model/Simulation
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by biocycle.atmos.colostate.edu
Hosted at biocycle.atmos.colostate.edu
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic


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